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with the 226-yard 17th. The one-shot- ter’s green sits precipitously alongside Green Lake and has snow-capped peaks framing the tee shot. A post-round drink on the course’s patio is a must as the lakeside setting is captivating. Nine lakes comprise a formidable ob-


stacle at Arnold Palmer’s Whistler Golf Club. Palmer’s fi rst Canadian design, the course installed new bentgrass greens in 2012 and debuted a new practice area in 2010, making it an excellent spot to brush up on the short game. The facility is an easy walk from Whistler Village, making the driving range the most ac- cessible for a warm-up bucket of balls. A further enticement is the course’s “5 after 5” rate of $19, or $39 with rental clubs. As the name implies, fi ve holes of golf are available after 5:00 p.m. for $5. It’s the perfect rate and experience for the developing player.


OFF THE COURSE Taking the “Peak 2 Peak” gondola is a


highlight. The 25-minute ride from Whis- tler Village to the top of Whistler Moun- tain takes travelers to an overwhelming vista. From the top, you can access other gondolas that take you to the summit, or across to Blackcomb Mountain. Whistler enjoyed the world’s spot-


Chateau Whistler Fairmont Golf Club


Panoramic vistas, extreme topography and deceptive distances dominate your senses.


While the course is only open May


through mid-October due to Whistler’s northern latitude, each day sees more daylight than Californians experience, enabling twilight golfers to get a full 18 in quite easily. Perhaps the best part of the experience? If you’re lucky, you might see a bear. Nicklaus North, a 10-minute drive


north of Whistler Village, refl ects what one would expect from the design pen of golf ’s greatest champion. Brawny fairways and greens are routed through a valley fl oor alongside the shores of the glacier-fed Green Lake. A relative lack of elevation change typifi es the layout, in contrast to the much more mountainous Chateau Whistler course. At 6,961 yards, the par-71 course reaches a crescendo


light three years ago when it served as one of the host sites for the 2010 Winter Olympics. An inuksuk, or stone landmark, watches over the area from atop Whistler Mountain. The sculpture represents the human form and was placed there as a symbol of the Olympics. It’s easy to fi ll up a memory card of photos from this perch. For those inclined, Whistler Moun-


tain Bike Park is accessible from the same gondola station. You and your bike are transported halfway up the mountain to more than 60 biking trails. One important consideration, as with


any mountainous locale, is the weather. At Whistler, the variable nature of the weather seems magnifi ed. It’s important to dress in layers and be prepared for rain, even when the sky indicates other- wise. While you are certainly at elevation, the Pacifi c Ocean is only 25 miles away, so weather patterns can be wacky. So do add Whistler to your list of


easy-to-reach golf and travel destina- tions. The depth and quality of the golf in this area is richly rewarding.


SUMMER 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 37


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